At Dental Distinction, we know all about comprehensive dentistry. That’s why we want to make sure everything about your oral health is taken care of, including the tools you use, such as your toothbrush. Your toothbrush spends four minutes a day in your mouth, so it’s important to care and store it properly, and know when to retire it. These do’s and don’ts of toothbrush care will keep your smile healthy.
Rinse your toothbrush with water after using it to make sure there’s no leftover toothpaste on it. Keeping it clean will reduce the amount of bacteria still on it so you don’t reintroduce it the next time you brush your teeth.
Store it upright and open to air. Don’t store it in a closed container as this is where bacteria thrive. Allowing it to air dry keeps mildew and excess bacteria from forming. Some bacteria die when exposed to air.
Replace the toothbrush every 3-4 months, or at the absolute latest, every six months when you see us for a regular cleaning. Replace sooner if you notice fraying, bending, or missing bristles.
Don’t share your toothbrush with anyone else. Even after rinsing, some bacteria still remain on the toothbrush, and sharing it with someone else may introduce bacteria that makes them sick.
Don’t sanitize your toothbrush in any sanitizing agents like mouthwash or hand sanitizer. This is unnecessary and may even pose a health risk to you. Rinsing after use and allowing it to air dry is sufficient to keep your toothbrush clean.
Don’t store it in a closed container, like a travel case or medicine cabinet. Bacteria love dark, enclosed spaces, and will replicate quickly in these environments. Keeping it upright and exposed to plenty of air will keep bacteria at bay.
That being said, don’t store your toothbrush next to or on the toilet. Germs can go airborne after flushing and stick to nearby surfaces, and you don’t want it to be your toothbrush. Try to store it a few feet away from the toilet in a place where it can still air dry.
Toothbrushes are easy to keep clean and don’t require any special care. Rinsing and air drying after each use are enough to keep your toothbrush in good condition. Just remember when to retire it — at the very least, switch them out after every professional cleaning!